Blu-ray Review: Time of EVE – The Movie
08/12/2014 Leave a comment
You’ve seen, and possibly read, our thoughts on the Time of EVE – The Movie Deluxe Edition and Standard Edition versions of the film but what did we think of the movie and it’s disc content? Find out in our Blu-ray Review of Time of EVE – The Movie.
Influenced by the Robot Ethics Committee, it’s become common sense for people to treat androids like household appliances. Their appearance – indistinguishable from humans except for the ring over each android’s head – has led some people to empathize unnecessarily with androids. Known as “android-holics”, such people have become a social problem.
Rikuo, a high school student, has been taught from childhood that androids are not to be viewed as humans, and has always used them as convenient tools. One day Rikuo discovers some strange data in the behavior records of his family’s household android, Sammy. Rikuo and his friend Masaki trace Sammy’s movements, only to discover a mysterious cafe that features a house rule that “humans and robots are to be treated the same”…
The phrase “Are you enjoying the Time of EVE?” is a phrase that pops-up continuously throughout the film and it appears so much that you’ll eventually find yourself answering the question; So did I enjoy the Time of EVE? Yes…. Yes I did but amusingly I can’t explain why. It’s not that it would spoil the film, as it probably would, it’s just hard to pinpoint exactly why I liked it; although saying that it did leave me with a craving for a coffee and you’ll easily understand why after watching the film for yourself.
For those unaware Time of EVE: The Movie is a movie adaptation of the Time of EVE ONA (Original-Net-Animation) series whereby six episodes were carefully compiled together into a feature length film, a fact which can become obvious during the films runtime. It’s not necessarily a bad thing, as a lot of TV Anime shows are eventually adapted into movies, but the constant fade-to-black and jumps to a new scene do make it obvious that it’s been edited together from a series. Interestingly this is just a minor distraction in a film that’s rather fluent and naturally progressive.
Back on track; Time of EVE: The Movie follows the events of high-school student Rikuo Sakisaka who, after looking through his families’ android activity log, uncovers the phrase “Are you enjoying the Time of EVE?” Intrigued by this unusual discovery he talks his class-mate, and best-friend, Masakazu Masaki into helping him understand what it means. Through the power of Satelite Navigation they ultimately end-up finding themselves within a strange location known only as the Time of EVE – which turns out to be a very special and unique café. What makes this café special? Well it has a strict rule that customers can not discriminate between humans and androids; and as a result the halo’s that usually float around the android’s head has gone so it’s near impossible to distinguish between who’s a human and who’s an android.
At first Masaki and Rikuo are sceptical about the café, as they believe it to be an off-the-grid and potentially dangerous area, but after some careful investigation, much to the comical annoyance of the café’s owner, Nagi, they soon discover that androids aren’t just scraps of metal used for households chores and errands but they are in fact just as real as humans. In a sense this is pretty much the ‘basic’ concept of the film, two high-school students attempting to uncover whose who within the café as well as see if it has any bad intentions; but during each visit they not only grow closer to the manager (Nagi) but they also form bonds with some of the other regulars.
This is where the storyline potentially starts to break off into various other storylines, as Rikuo and Misaki interacts with another character within the café so that they learn about their experiences and lifestyles; each of which are vastly different from any other characters. For instance Ahiko is an energetic and fast-talking person while Setoro hides in the background reading his book (which has the same cover as the book thats included with the Deluxe Edition of the film). Having not seen the series I can’t do a comparison as to whats been removed and left in; but judging from what I experienced in the film I’d say that each interaction with the customers would have been a different episode of the series, as each character interaction is brought to a close once the main characters, Rikuo and Misaki, leave the building.
I won’t spoil the ‘juicy details’ but it has the whole “stop and go” effect, whereby the main characters focus on a single character (or pair of characters) within the café until they leave at which point when they return they focus on another character. This character focusing brings a lot of character development out onto the screen and as a result you’ll find yourself getting to know each of their backstories and, to an extent, be a bit disappointed when they don’t appear on screen. Of course while this can be considered the bulk of the film there is a more sinister storyline lurking in the background; whereby the ethics committee, an organisation wanting to keep robots out of human life, begin to clamp down on areas hosting human interaction with anroids and as a result the Time of EVE café becomes a potential target.
Don’t get too excited; this ‘threat’ is nothing serious and it instead acts as a clever way for the film to be brought to an emotional close.
It’s not just the film that left me feeling satisfied, as well as a craving for a coffee, as the amount of bonus materials included on the disc itself shows that Pied Piper / Directions had the intention of making this Blu-ray the best that it could ever possibly be. In short you’ll find two animated shorts, a wealth of behind the scenes featurettes and the original cinematic trailer for the film.
- Short Film: Pale Cocoon
- Short Film: Aquatic Language
- Opening Day
- Behind The Scenes
- Sign Gallery
- Audio Commentary
- Interviews with Cast
- Interview with Director
Depending on the type of bonus material you like depends on what you’ll find most interesting; for me it was the Opening Day and Behind The Scenes segments as these two featurettes take a look into areas that we usually don’t get to see. The Opening Day segment sees the cast and production crew doing a Q&A Session shortly after the film was shown during a premiere where as the Behind The Scenes segment sees the entire process from creation, voice acting to promotion in a long-winded montage video.
Of course if you prefer a more ‘direct approach’ than there is a selection of Interviews, with both the Japanese voice cast and director, as well as an Audio Commentary that covers the entire length of the film. As you’d expect the interviews take a casual approach whereby the Japanese staff answer questions provided to them by their interviewees, each of which can be different and entertaining in their own right; for instance Jun Fukuyama (voice of Rikuo) was asked what he liked about his job, while others are asked about their past experiences. The Audio commentary on the otherhand provides, as you’d expect, an analysis of the film whereby the crew reflects on the decisions made during the production process.
One of the most useful pieces of bonus content has to be the Signs Gallery; a simple addition which sees all of the signs, labels, notices and HUD’s (Heads-UP-Display) translated into the subtitle language of yourself. For instance in the early moments of the film you see Rikuo and Misaki walk past a construction site and while the Japanese text is translated it may flash off screen before you get chance to read it. In this bonus feature you’ll be able to read all of these without worrying that they will disappear. It’s such a simple bonus feature yet it expands the experience received from the film.
The final selection of bonus materials is two animated shorts, each of which depict a stand-a-lone story within a similar universe to that of Time of EVE, as well as original Japanese promotional materials in the form of trailers.
Media: BD 50
Region: A, B & C
Running Time: 1:46:31
Video: MPEG-4 AVC
Audio: LPCM 2.0 (English & Japanese)
Subtitles: English, French, Spanish, French, German, Italian, Portugese, Chinese, Russian (White)
Resolution: 1920×1080 (1080p)
Aspect Ratio: 16:9 Aspect Ratio
Frame Rate: 23.976 fps
The time of EVE is an eye-opener and it is truly in a class of its own; it’s highly animated and delivers a multi-layered story that just isn’t found within most films released today. It may be an adaptation (or compilation) of a TV Series but it works extremely well. The story sees two high-school students attempt to uncover the mystery surrounding a café that allows robots and humans to coincide with each other, but along the way find new friends and happiness that question the law of nature.
When it comes to this Blu-ray release by Pied Piper / Directions then it’s pretty much ‘above and beyond’ perfection, and that’s not an exaggeration either. The visual quality of the film is outstounding and is easily the sharpest, most detailed anime project I have ever seen – it left me speechless; the only disappointment was the LPCM 2.0 audio track but even then since no explosions or dramatic scenarios take-place its not need and after five minutes I didn’t even miss it. The quality of the product continues onto subtitles as well and it shows that yet attention to detail was made; how exactly You ask? Well the subtitles by default are white however during scenes which feature a lot of white in them the subtitles are made black, that’s not all either the size of the subtitles are adjusted depending whats being portrayed on screen so if its dialogue for a TV News station the subtitles is a smaller font than that of the dialogue. It might seem strange, especially to the subtitles we receive on other releases, but it works extremely well as the screen isn’t being clutted with text.
Visual and Subtitle quality aside it’s the English Dub which really stands out and it pleasantly surprised me during me first watch. I was expecting a mediocre English Dub track, such as those provided by VIZ Media, but instead we receive something that even puts FUNimation’s best voice-work to show. It’s truly astounding and everyone matches up to character that there are portraying; the same can be said for the Japanese Audio track – whichever audio you choose you are in for an entertaining vocal experience, and that’s not something I say often.
When it comes to Time of EVE: The Movie there is no violence, there is no swearing and there is no immediate obvious progression; but this this is a story of discovery, a discovery that sees high-school students form bonds with androids which is usually considered taboo within normal society – it’s a charming film that gets more intriguing further you get into it and when all is said and done you’ll be left completely satisfied and find yourself coming back for more. Whichever version of Time of EVE: The Movie you decide to choose the overall disc product is the same; it’s a film worth owning as its an instant classic filled with passion and hard work – Time of EVE: The Movie is truly a masterclass in anime presentation and production that deserves your undivided attention.
Time of EVE – The Movie is now available to purchase as a Standard and Deluxe Edition Blu-ray from Anime Limited and the official Time of EVE Store; alternatively it is available to pre-order through Amazon UK.